‘Jersey Journal’ to Go Tabloid; Some KR Papers to Follow?

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By: Joe Strupp

Tabloids continue their comeback, with The Jersey Journal of Jersey City, N.J., planning to dump its broadsheet layout for the more compact style, according to The New York Times, which also reports that Knight Ridder is expected to switch at least three of its 31 dailies to the smaller format.

“We had to address the declining circulation of the daily,” Jersey Journal editor-in-chief Steve Newhouse told the Times in a story published Monday. “We’re making sure that the Jersey Journal has a future.” Circulation is now about 26,600, down from more than 100,000 since the 1970s.

Plans call for the Journal, owned by Advance Publications, to make the change on April 25.

Meanwhile, the Times also quotes Anthony P. Ridder, chairman of Knight Ridder, saying he would “soon identify two or three Knight Ridder markets where he planned to experiment with taking broadsheets to tabloid size.” But he would not name them.

Among Knight Ridder’s properties are The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, and the San Jose Mercury News.

“Inititally, people were recommending that we try this in smaller markets, where there would be less at risk,” Ridder told the Times, “but we’re feeling now that to get the benefit out of it, we need to focus on our larger markets. So that’s where we we’re headed.”

He said he did not expect shifts in the journalism: “We’re thinking of it as a different format, not that the content would change.” Ridder added that he personally preferred broadsheets, but said that what he liked “and what sells newspapers are two different things.”

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